Most people associate Champagne with celebrations, aided by the pop of a cork but Champagne is absolutely amazing with seafood starters, perfect for Christmas Day if you are considering Prawns, Oysters or Smoked Salmon. The balance of the taste of the 2 is delicious!
Champagne is sparkling wine from the Champagne area of France. This area is in the north east area of France and only sparkling wines from this area are allowed the wonderful title of Champagne. So not all sparkling wines are Champagnes.
The process of making champagne is a complex and often time consuming process. This is a process honed over several hundred years and is highly regarded as the best sparkling wine available.
Due to the natural soil in the area of Champagne which are acidic and chalk in nature, this is seen as a very important element to producing these quality wines. The way Champagne is made is high regulated, keeping the standard consistent but also maintaining a wonderful brand known around the world. The 3 types of grapes you will see grown in this area are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.
The goal of most Champagne producers is to create a consistent product. Unlike other non sparkling wines that can vary from year to year, a champagne is consistent. After the primary fermentation, the wines from a variety of grapes are combined together. After this process, they are bottled in long green bottles and cane sugar and yeast cultures are added to stimulate a second alcoholic fermentation. This process can take several weeks and are then allowed to rest. A non vintage champagne will age for 15 months and 36 months for a vintage champagne. Following this process, the sediment in the bottles need to be removed and the bottles are turned, either by hand or mechanically. The sediment needs to rest near the top of the bottle. Disgorging is the process in which this mass of yeast is removed. The top of the bottle is frozen and it ca n be removed carefully. Once the bottle cap is opened the C02 pops the lees out of the bottle. The bottles are then topped up with more champagne and sweetness. The amount depends on the flavour and style of the wine makers. The bottles are then recorked and sealed with a protective wire cage. Once rested for a few months, the champagnes are ready for our shelves.
This is a meticulous process and is part of the reason why Champagne is more expensive. The end product is delicious and very reflective of the area it is grown.
Champagne comes in a variety of styles and levels of sweetness.
Blanc de Blanc
Translated means “white from white,” white wine made from white (Chardonnay) grapes, and usually lighter in style than the following types.
Blanc de Noir:
Translates means “white from black,” meaning white wine made from black grapes (Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier).
This wine is usually made by blending red wine and white wine and bottling together. This produces a pink champagne with a distinctive taste.
This means that the wines are blended from a variety. Champagne producers blend vintages together in order to achieve a consistent “house style.” This creates a product that taste the same year after year.
This Champagne is produced only years where the crop is particularly good, and 100% of the grapes used must come from the vintage stated on the bottle. Less than 10% of Champagne produced each year is vintage Champagne.
The sweet taste of Champagne
There are a variety of final tastes due to the addition of sugar and how it works with the grape variety. It is added to the wine prior to determining what style of wine (level of sweetness) it will be. The types of flavours on the bottle mean the following
Brut Naturelle/Non Dosage: very dry, typically no sugar added
Extra Brut: very dry, less than 1%
Brut: very dry to fairly dry. This is used a lot as it works so well with the grape variety of the area and you will find most of our Champagnes are Brut.
Extra Sec or Extra Dry: dry to medium dry (around 3% sugar)
Sec: medium dry, or some call it medium sweet, so its even in taste
Demi-Sec: Half Sweet, but not quite a sweet wine
Doux: Very sweet almost like a dessert sweet!
What Champagnes have we chosen for you?
Have a look at our range of champagnes. There is one to suit all types of tastes and certainly one for your upcoming dinner party, tapas with friends or a wonderful celebration.
Such a great value classy light Champagne full of flavour yet soft and will not over burden. Fines bubbles and superbly balanced
A delicious fruity Champagne, made mostly from Pinot Noir, keeping it sharp and refreshing. Mister Michel Drappier and his children are geniuses at making Champagne with his own style and come from Aube where Arnaud Clopin from Lakavwines comes from. Smell the white peaches and dream of France in the sunshine….
This is an amazing Champagne, delicate and delicious. Wonderful With Seafood or as an aperitif, light bubbles, well balanced blend with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier , amazing aromas of white bread
This is a fabulous Champagne best enjoyed with friends for aperitif & antipasti but best ever pairing is with a great Irish lobster. A wonderful pink Champagne that is stunning with aromas of wild strawberry and raspberry and spiced up with citrus note
Taittinger is a classic Champagne best known for celebrations or aperitif but also is a perfect pairing to Seafood. Most amazing choice for Christmas with full aromas of white fruits / white flowers and the smell of brioche
There is nothing better than a pink Champagne especially with this exquisite blend of Chardonnay ( 48%), Pinot Noir ( 28 % ) and Pinot Meunier ( 24 % ) vinified by the 3 Baron sisters ! The pale colour is eye catching but the taste is a shot of crisp acidity balances the ripe fruit, giving a wine that is ready to drink.
Here is a great article with some more information about Champagne: